I think this might make an interesting topic- what did you learn this year about growing fruit or even just what you’ve come to suspect is important towards realizing a harvest of excellent fruit?
For me, the most important thing I learned that should be significant for growers in all regions, is the fact that if you cannot thin your fruit adequately early, get back to it when you can, right up until the month or even two weeks before harvest. Thinning early may be needed to assure annual cropping of apples and getting max size through cell division for all fruit, but in terms of achieving highest eating quality, the real action seems to occur in the month before harvest, even two weeks before. That is the crucial period made evident this season by long stretches of wet cool weather. Fruit that ripened shortly after such stretches tended to be low quality- not in size and other appearance but for lack of adequate sugar. I don’t think the primary issue was too much water because the soil stayed very moist almost the entire season.
If it is cool and cloudy, photosynthesis must be highly reduced, resulting in low sugar fruit that has ripened during such weather. I now believe that the issue of ratio of leaves to fruit is most significant in affecting sweetness in the last phase of ripening- why wouldn’t it be?
The closer leaves are to an individual fruit, the more of the sugar it manufactures will end up in that fruit. Thirty well exposed leaves to each baseball sized fruit is a reasonable equation in my region.
A related lesson of the season was that in seasons with intermittent long stretches of wet cloudy weather followed by sunny ones, it really pays to have varieties of stone fruit that ripen over the full extent of the harvest season. However, if most of the season remains cloudy, you are pretty much screwed regardless, as growers to the north of me found out this year.